Jun 1, 2011 -
Mr. Speaker, not only does this rule before the House drastically shortchange Homeland Security priorities, but this rule puts into force by deeming and passing the Republican budget resolution.
This rule, section 2, states very clearly that the Republican budget resolution shall have force and effect. That is the traditional language of a deem and pass. Yes, this budget deems passed the elimination of Medicare in order to keep in place tax cuts for the highest earners and tax breaks for oil.
And while I do thank the majority for offering up the first open rule during my tenure in the House, I ask at what price. Well, I think there would be broad bipartisan support for an open rule. I, for one, cannot support a rule that deems passed the elimination of Medicare. Americans resoundingly opposed the approach of dismantling Medicare. They want us to put our economy on more secure fiscal footing and do it while strengthening our economy, creating jobs and mending, not ending, Medicare.
I would like to quote former Minority Leader John Boehner in reference to the approach of ``deem and pass'' that was considered by the then-majority Democrats with regard to the health care bill. Then-Minority Leader Boehner said, ``This legislative trick has been around for a long time, but it's never been used for a bill so controversial and so massive in scope.''
What could be more massive than an elimination of Medicare contained in a rule rather than approach a simple vote on appropriations with regard to Medicare, cutting Medicare, bills with regard to Medicare reform?
This is the most sweeping rule that I've certainly ever faced in my time in the House of Representatives, and I think many of my colleagues agree.
The passage of this rule alone would simply end Medicare as we know it by construing in the deem and pass of the bill itself the operative language. And let me explain how this works for some of our colleagues.
Rules have broad authority. And I know the chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. Dreier, will on his own time be able to talk of it. The Rules Committee, by the good graces of the House with our rules passing the House, has the ability to accomplish whatever the House allows us to through a rule.
So in this rule, the House will deem under section 2 that the Ryan budget, the budget that ends Medicare, the Republican budget, shall have force and effect until a conference report passes and that will likely not occur unless the Republicans alter their negotiating position vis-a-vis the Senate and vis-a-vis the President.
I strongly urge a ``no'' vote on eliminating Medicare contained in section 2 of this rule.
Congressman Polis' floor statement can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikrZIGX4cQQ